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willingly, and with a misguided conscience, we desire to be in bondage to them; how much more then if unwillingly and against our conscience! Ill was our condition changed from legal to evangelical, and small advantage gotten by the gospel, if for the spirit of adoption to freedom promised us, we receive again the spirit of bondage to fear; if our fear, which was then servile towards God only, must be now servile in religion towards men: strange also and preposterous fear, if when and wherein it hath attained by the redemption of our Saviour to be filial only towards God, it must be now servile towards the magistrate: who, by subjecting us to his punishment in these things, brings back into religion that law of terrour and satisfaction belonging now only to civil crimes; and thereby in effect abolishes the gospel, by establishing again the law to a far worse yoke of servitude upon us than before. It will therefore not misbecome the meanest Christian to put in mind christian magistrates, and so much the more freely by how much the more they desire to be thought christian, (for they will be thereby, as they ought to be in these things, the more our brethren and the less our lords,) that they meddle not rashly with christian liberty, the birthright and outward testimony of our adoption; lest while they little think it, nay, think they do God service, they themselves, like the sons of that bondwoman, be found persecuting them who are freeborn of the Spirit, and by a sacrilege of not the least aggravation, bereaving them of that sacred liberty, which our Saviour with his own blood purchased for them.

clean which God hath cleansed, forbidden to St. Peter, Acts x. 15; as well may he loosen that which God hath straitened, or straiten that which God hath loosened, as he may enjoin those things in religion which God hath left free, and lay on that yoke which God hath taken off. For he hath not only given us this gift as a special privilege and excellence of the free gospel above the servile law, but strictly also hath commanded us to keep it and enjoy it. Gal. v. 13, " You are called to liberty." 1 Cor. vii. 23, "Be not made the servants of men." Gal. v. 14, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free; and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Neither is this a mere command, but for the most part in these forecited places, accompanied with the very weightiest and inmost reasons of christian religion: Rom. xiv. 9, 10," For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother?" &c. How presumest thou to be his lord, to be whose only Lord, at least in these things, Christ both died, and rose, and lived again? “We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ." Why then dost thou not only judge, but persecute in these things for which we are to be accountable to the tribunal of Christ only, our Lord and lawgiver? 1 Cor. vii. 23, "Ye are bought with a price; be not made the servants of men." Some trivial price belike, and for some frivolous pretences paid in their opinion, if bought and by him redeemed, who is God, from what was once the service of God, we shall be enthralled again, and forced by men to what now is but the service of men. Gal. iv. 31, with v. 1," We are not children of the bondwoman, &c. stand fast therefore," &c. Col. ii. 8, " Beware lest any man spoil you, &c. after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Solid reasons whereof are continued through the whole chapter. Ver. 10, "Ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:" not completed therefore or made the more religious by those ordinances of civil power, from which Christ their head hath discharged us; "blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us; and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross," ver. 14. Blotting out ordinances written by God himself, much more those so boldly written over again by men: ordinances which were against us, that is, against our frailty, much more those which are against our conscience. "Let no man therefore judge you in respect of," &c. ver. 16. Gal. iv. 3, &c. “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the rudiments of the world: But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, &c. to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons, &c. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, &c. But now, &c. how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire again to be in bond-gospel, that we are "justified by the faith of Christ. age? Ye observe days," &c. Hence it plainly appears, that if we be not free, we are not sons, but still servants unadopted; and if we turn again to those weak and beggarly rudiments, we are not free; yea, though

A fourth reason, why the magistrate ought nat use force in religion, I bring from the consideration of all those ends, which he can likely pretend to the interposing of his force therein and those hardly can be other than first the glory of God; next, either the spiritual good of them whom he forces, or the temporal punishment of their scandal to others. As for the promoting of God's glory, none, I think, will say that his glory ought to be promoted in religious things by unwarrantable means, much less by means contrary to what he hath commanded. That outward force is such, and that God's glory in the whole administration of the gospel according to his own will and counsel ought to be fulfilled by weakness, at least so refuted, not by force; or if by force, inward and spiritual, not outward and corporeal, is already proved at large. That outward force cannot tend to the good of him who is forced in religion, is unquestionable. For in religion whatever we do under the gospel, we ought to be thereof persuaded without scruple; and are justified by the faith we have, not by the work we do: Rom xiv. 5, "Let every mau be fully persuaded in his own mind." The other reason which follows necessarily is obvious, Gal. ii. 16, and in many other places of St. Paul, as the groundwork and foundation of the whole

and not by the works of the law." If not by the works of God's law, how then by the injunctions of man's law? Surely force cannot work persuasion, which is faith; cannot therefore justify nor pacify the con

things holy in his prophaneness, is all one under the gospel, as to have compelled the unclean to sacrifice in his uncleanness under the law. And I add withal, that to compel the licentious in his licentiousness, and the conscientious against his conscience, comes all to one tends not to the honour of God, but to the multiplying and the aggravating of sin to them both. We read not that Christ ever exercised force but once; and that was to drive prophane ones out of his temple, not to force them in : and if their being there was an offence, we find by many other scriptures that their praying there was an abomination: and yet to the Jewish law, that nation, as a servant, was obliged; but to the gospel each person is left voluntary, called only, as a son, by the preaching of the word; not to be driven in by edicts and force of arms. For if by the apostle, Rom. xii. 1, we are "beseeched as brethren by the mercies of God to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service" or worship, then is no man to be forced by the compulsive laws of men to present his body a dead sacrifice; and so under the gospel most unholy and unacceptable, because it is his unreasonable service, that is to say, not only unwilling but unconscionable. But if prophane and licentious persons may not omit the performance of holy duties, why may they not partake of holy things? Why are they prohibited the Lord's supper, since both the one and the other action may be outward; and outward performance of duty may attain at least an outward participation of benefit? The church denying them that communion of grace and thanksgiving, as it justly doth, why doth the magistrate compel them to the union of performing that which they neither truly can, being themselves unholy, and to do seemingly is both hateful to God, and perhaps no less dangerous to perform holy duties irreligiously, than to receive holy signs or sacraments unworthily? All prophane and licentious men, so known, can be considered but either so without the church as never yet within it, or departed thence of their own accord, or excommunicate: if never yet within the church, whom the apostle, and so consequently the church, have nought to do to judge, as he professes, 1 Cor. v. 12, then by what authority doth the magistrate judge; or, which is worse, compel in relation to the church? If departed of his own accord, like that lost sheep, Luke xv. 4, &c. the true church either with her own or any borrowed force worries him not in again, but rather in all charitable manner sends after him; and if she find him, lays him gently on her shoulders; bears him, yea bears his burdens, his errours, his infirmities any way tolerable," so fulfilling the law of Christ," Gal. vi. 2. If excommunicate, whom the church hath bid go out, in whose name doth the magistrate compel to go in? The church indeed hinders none from hearing in her public congregation, for the doors are open to all: nor excommunicates to destruc|tion; but, as much as in her lies, to a final saving. Her meaning therefore must needs be, that as her driving out brings on no outward penalty, so no outward force or penalty of an improper and only a destructive power

science; and that which justifies not in the gospel, condemns; is not only not good, but sinful to do: Rom. xiv, 23, "Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin." It concerns the magistrate then to take heed how he forces in religion conscientious men: lest by compelling them to do that whereof they cannot be persuaded, that wherein they cannot find themselves justified, but by their own consciences condemned, instead of aiming at their spiritual good, he force them to do evil; and while he thinks himself Asa, Josiah, Nehemiah, he be found Jeroboam, who caused Israel to sin; and thereby draw upon his own head all those sins and shipwrecks of implicit faith and conformity, which he hath forced, and all the wounds given to those little ones, whom to offend he will find worse one day than that violent drowning mentioned Matt. xviii. 6. Lastly, as a preface to force, it is the usual pretence, That although tender consciences shall be tolerated, yet scandals thereby given shall not be unpunished, prophane and licentious men shall not be encouraged to neglect the performance of religious and holy duties by colour of any law giving liberty to tender consciences. By which contrivance the way lies ready open to them hereafter, who may be so minded, to take away by little and little that liberty which Christ and his gospel, not any magistrate, hath right to give: though this kind of his giving be but to give with one hand, and take away with the other, which is a deluding, not a giv-. ing. As for scandals, if any man be offended at the conscientious liberty of another, it is a taken scandal, not a given. To heal one conscience, we must not wound another and men must be exhorted to beware of scandals in christian liberty, not forced by the magistrate; lest while he goes about to take away the scandal, which is uncertain whether given or taken, he take away our liberty, which is the certain and the sacred gift of God, neither to be touched by him, nor to be parted with by us. None more cautious of giving scandal than St. Paul. Yet while he made himself "servant to all," that he "might gain the more," he made himself so of his own accord, was not made so by outward force, testifying at the same time that he “ free from all men," 1 Cor. ix. 19; and thereafter exhorts us also, Gal. v. 13, "Ye were called to liberty, Ac. but by love serve one another: " then not by force. As for that fear, lest prophane and licentious men should be encouraged to omit the performance of religious and holy duties, how can that care belong to the civil magistrate, especially to his force? For if prophane and licentious persons must not neglect the performance of religious and holy duties, it implies, that such duties they can perform, which no protestant will affirm. They who mean the outward performance, may so explain it; and it will then appear yet more plainly, that such performance of religious and holy duties, especially by prophane and licentious pera dishonouring rather than a worshipping of and not only by him not required, but detested: Prov. xxi. 27, "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he bringeth it with a wicked mind ?" To compel therefore the prophane to





should drive in again her infectious sheep; therefore sent out because infectious, and not driven in but with the danger not only of the whole and sound, but also of his own utter perishing. Since force neither instructs in religion, nor begets repentance or amendment of life, but on the contrary, hardness of heart, formality, hypocrisy, and, as I said before, every way increase of sin; more and more alienates the mind from a violent religion, expelling out and compelling in, and reduces it to a condition like that which the Britons complain of in our story, driven to and fro between the Picts and the sea. If after excommunion he be found intractable, incurable, and will not hear the church, he becomes as one never yet within her pale," a heathen or a publican," Matt. xviii. 17, not further to be judged, no not by the magistrate, unless for civil causes; but left to the final sentence of that Judge, whose coming shall be in flames of fire; that Maranathà, 1 Cor. xvi. 22, than which to him so left nothing can be more dread-❘ ful, and ofttimes to him particularly nothing more speedy, that is to say, The Lord cometh in the mean while delivered up to Satan, 1 Cor. v. 5, 1 Tim. i. 20, that is, from the fold of Christ and kingdom of grace to the world again, which is the kingdom of Satan; and as he was received" from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God," Acts xxvi. 18, so now delivered up again from light to darkness, and from God to the power of Satan; yet so as is in both places manifested, to the intent of saving him, brought sooner to contrition by spiritual than by any corporal severity. But grant it belonging any way to the magistrate, that prophane and licentious persons omit not the performance of holy duties, which in them were odious to God even under the law, much more now under the gospel; yet ought his care both as a magistrate and a Christian, to be much more that conscience be not inwardly violated, than that licence in these things be made outwardly conformable: since his part is undoubtedly as a Christian, which puts him upon this office much more than as a magistrate, in all respects to have more care of the conscientious than of the prophane; and not for their sakes to take away (while they pretend to give) or to diminish the rightful liberty of religious consciences.


On these four scriptural reasons, as on a firm square, this truth, the right of christian and evangelic liberty, will stand immovable against all those pretended consequences of licence and confusion, which for the most part men most licentious and confused themselves, or such as whose severity would be wiser than divine wisdom, are ever aptest to object against the ways of God as if God without them, when he gave us this liberty, knew not of the worst which these men in their arrogance pretend will follow: yet knowing all their worst, he gave us this liberty as by him judged best. As to those magistrates who think it their work to settle religion, and those ministers or others, who so oft call upon them to do so, I trust, that having well considered what hath been here argued, neither they will continue in that intention, nor these in that expectation from them; when they shall find that the settlement

of religion belongs only to each particular church by persuasive and spiritual means within itself, and that the defence only of the church belongs to the magis trate. Had he once learnt not further to concern himself with church-affairs, half his labour might be spared, and the commonwealth better tended. To which end, that which I premised in the beginning, and in due place treated of more at large, I desire now concluding, that they would consider seriously what religion is: and they will find it to be, in sum, both our belief and our practice depending upon God only. That there can be no place then left for the magistrate or his force in the settlement of religion, by appointing either what we shall believe in divine things, or practise in religious, (neither of which things are in the power of man either to perform himself, or to enable others,) I persuade me in the christian ingenuity of all religious men, the more they examine seriously, the more they will find clearly to be true: and find how false and deviseable that common saying is, which is so much relied upon, that the christian magistrate is "Custos utriusque Tabulæ," Keeper of both Tables, unless is meant by keeper the defender only neither can that maxim be maintained by any proof or argument, which hath not in this discourse first or last been refuted. For the two tables, or ten commandments, teach our duty to God and our neighbour from the love of both; give magistrates no authority to force either: they seek that from the judicial law, though on false grounds, especially in the first table, as I have shewn; and both in first and second execute that authority for the most part, not according to God's judicial laws, but their own. As for civil crimes, and of the outward man, which all are not, no, not of those against the second table, as that of coveting; in them what power they have, they had from the beginning, long before Moses or the two tables were in being. And whether they be not now as little in being to be kept by any Christian as they are two legal tables, remains yet as undecided, as it is sure they never were yet delivered to the keeping of any christian magistrate. But of these things perhaps more some other time; what may serve the present hath been above discoursed sufficiently out of the Scriptures: and to those produced, might be added testimonies, examples, experiences, of all succeeding ages to these times, asserting this doc trine: but having herein the Scripture so copious and so plain, we have all that can be properly called true strength and nerve; the rest would be but pomp and encumbrance. Pomp and ostentation of reading is admired among the vulgar: but doubtless in matters of religion he is learnedest who is plainest. The brevity I use, not exceeding a small manual, will not therefore, I suppose, be thought the less considerable, unless with them perhaps who think that great books only can determine great matters. I rather choose the common rule, not to make much ado, where less may serve. Which in controversies, and those especially of religion, would make them less tedious, and by conse quence read oftener by many more, and with more benefit.








OWING to your protection, Supreme Senate! this liberty of writing, which I have used these eighteen years on all occasions to assert the best rights and freedoms both of church and state, and so far approved, as to have been trusted with the representment and defence of your actions to all christendom against an adversary of no mean repute; to whom should I address what I still publish on the same argument, but to you, whose magnanimous councils first opened and unbound the age from a double bondage under prelatical and regal tyranny; above our own hopes heartening us to look up at last like men and Christians from the slavish dejection, wherein from father to son we were bred up and taught; and thereby deserving of these nations, if they be not barbarously ingrateful, to be acknowledged, next under God, the authors and best patrons of religious and civil liberty, that ever these islands brought forth? The care and tuition of whose peace and safety, after a short but scandalous night of interruption, is now again, by a new dawning of God's miraculous providence among us, revolved upon your shoulders. And to whom more appertain these considerations, which I propound, than to yourselves, and the debate before you, though I trust of no difficulty, yet at present of great expectation, not whether ye will gratify, were it no more than so, but whether ye will hearken to the just petition of many thousands best affected both to religion and to this your return, or whether ye will satisfy, which you never can, the covetous pretences and demands of insatiable hirelings, whose disaffection ye well know both to yourselves and your resolutions? That I, though among many others in this common concernment, interpose to your deliberations what my thoughts also are; your own judgment and the success thereof hath given me the confidence : which requests but this, that if I bave prosperously, God so favouring me, defended the public cause of this commonwealth to foreigners, ye would not think the

reason and ability, whereon ye trusted once (and repent not) your whole reputation to the world, either grown less by more maturity and longer study, or less available in English than in another tongue: but that if it sufficed some years past to convince and satisfy the unengaged of other nations in the justice of your doings, though then held paradoxal, it may as well suffice now against weaker opposition in matters, except here in England with a spirituality of men devoted to their temporal gain, of no controversy else among protestants. Neither do I doubt, seeing daily the acceptance which they find who in their petitions venture to bring advice also, and new models of a commonwealth, but that you will interpret it much more the duty of a Christian to offer what his conscience persuades him may be of moment to the freedom and better constituting of the church: since it is a deed of highest charity to help undeceive the people, and a work worthiest your authority, in all things else authors, assertors, and now recoverers of our liberty, to deliver us, the only people of all protestants left still undelivered, from the oppressions of a simonious decimating clergy, who shame not, against the judgment and practice of all other churches reformed, to maintain, though very weakly, their popish and oft refuted positions; not in a point of conscience wherein they might be blameless, but in a point of covetousness and unjust claim to other men's goods; a contention foul and odious in any man, but most of all in ministers of the gospel, in whom contention, though for their own right, scarce is allowable. Till which grievances be removed, and religion set free from the monopoly of hirelings, I dare affirm, that no model whatsoever of a commonwealth will prove successful or undisturbed; and so persuaded, implore divine assistance on your pious counsels and proceedings to unanimity in this and all other truth.





| present under public debate. Wherein lest any thing may happen to be determined and established prejudicial to the right and freedom of the church, or advantageous to such as may be found hirelings therein, it will be now most seasonable, and in these matters, wherein every Christian hath his free suffrage, no way misbecoming christian meekness to offer freely, without disparagement to the wisest, such advice as God shall incline him and enable him to propound : since heretofore in commonwealths of most fame for government, civil laws were not established till they had been first for certain days published to the view of all men, that whoso pleased might speak freely his opinion thereof, and give in his exceptions, ere the law could pass to a full establishment. And where ought this equity to have more place, than in the liberty which is insepar

THE former treatise, which leads in this, began with two things ever found working much mischief to the one side restraining, and hire on the other side corrupting, the teachers thereof. The latter of these is by much the more dangerous: for under force, though no thank to the forcers, true religion ofttimes best thrives and flourishes; but the corruption of teachers, most commonly the effect of hire, is the very bane of truth in them who are so corrupted. Of force not to be used in matters of religion, I have already spoken; and so stated matters of conscience and religion in faith and divine worship, and so severed them from blasphemy and heresy, the one being such properly as is despiteful, the other such as stands not to the rule of Scripture, and so both of them not matters of religion, but rather against it, that to them who will yet use force, this only choice can be left, whether they will force them to be-able from christian religion? This, I am not ignorant, lieve, to whom it is not given from above, being not forced thereto by any principle of the gospel, which is now the only dispensation of God to all men; or whether being protestants, they will punish in those things wherein the protestant religion denies them to be judges, either in themselves infallible, or to the consciences of other men; or whether, lastly, they think fit to punish errour, supposing they can be infallible that it is so, being not wilful, but conscientious, and, according to the best light of him who errs, grounded on Scripture which kind of errour all men religious, or but only reasonable, have thought worthier of pardon, and the growth thereof to be prevented by spiritual means and church-discipline, not by civil laws and outward force, since it is God only who gives as well to believe aright, as to believe at all; and by those means, which be ordained sufficiently in his church to the full execution of his divine purpose in the gospel. It remains now to speak of hire, the other evil so mischievous in religion: whereof I promised then to speak further, when I should find God disposing me, and opportunity inviting. Opportunity I find now inviting; and apprehend therein the concurrence of God disposing; since the maintenance of church-ministers, a thing not properly belonging to the magistrate, and yet with such importunity called for, and expected from him, is at

will be a work unpleasing to some: but what truth is not hateful to some or other, as this, in likelihood, will be to none but hirelings. And if there be among them who hold it their duty to speak impartial truth, as the work of their ministry, though not performed without money, let them not envy others who think the same no less their duty by the general office of Christianity, to speak truth, as in all reason may be thought, more impartially and unsuspectedly without money.

Hire of itself is neither a thing unlawful, nor a word of any evil note, signifying no more than a due recompence or reward; as when our Saviour saith, "the labourer is worthy of his hire." That which makes it so dangerous in the church, and properly makes the hireling, a word always of evil signification, is either the excess thereof, or the undue manner of giving and taking it. What harm the excess thereof brought to the church, perhaps was not found by experience till the days of Constantine; who out of his zeal thinking he could be never too liberally a nursing father of the church, might be not unfitly said to have either overlaid it or choked it in the nursing. Which was foretold, as is recorded in ecclesiastical traditions, by a voice heard from heaven, on the verv day that those great donations and church-revenue were given, crying aloud, "This day is poison poured

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